Disclaimer: while some of my best friends in the world work at NetSuite, this article is not a paid endorsement of NetSuite or their tactics.
Sage Summit 2012 is mere weeks away and I personally am very excited to once again be meeting up with the diverse and talented pool of people that make up the Sage ecosystem - the employees, the partners and the customers. It’s a necessity for anyone that wants to sharpen the saw and find out what’s coming down the road for Sage.
Looking back to last year, the entire events team really outdid themselves (search this site for the numerous articles – it was a blast) and they set the bar high for themselves.
No worries though!
Not content to rest on their success, it seems that the events team took feedback from last year to heart and have made some improvements in key areas. One area in particular that seems to have received a shot in the arm is the formal content. There seems to be a lot more in the way of valuable sessions in all areas – including marketing and business development which are my favorite tracks.
In addition, they are trying out some new, innovative ideas to help attendees actively network and get information from their peers with the Sage City concept. Sage City addresses some of the concerns of networking in such a big crowd and it allows like-minded people to come together to talk and share ideas.
I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
For me, like many who attend, the value is in the informal get-togethers in between the sessions and the structured events to share war stories with other like-minded business owners. If Sage City improves on those experiences, that’s a good thing.
In general, the event itself is always well organized, fast-moving and over too soon.
I struggle organizing lunch for my small business so I can only imagine all the challenges that it takes to coordinate something of this scale and make it seem so effortless. The entire events team deserves a lot of respect for pulling this feat off and continuing to up the ante each and every year.
With all that in mind, I saw that one of the Sage competitors, NetSuite, has decided to crash the party and piss in the punchbowl.
I suppose the management at NetSuite has seen some of the changes at Sage and in the Sage channel and felt that this is a great opportunity for them to pick up some business. I have to ask if this is the impression that they want to make?
In my head, I’m imagining a lawyer chasing an ambulance
… or a desperate fan stalking a celebrity
… or boiler rooms calling on old folks with their latest pump and dump scheme to defraud them of their life savings
… or a used car salesman in their prime trying to fleece an earnest buyer.
Fill in your own image.
It’s not a flattering picture frankly and it’s downright disrespectful to a lot of hard-working folks who have put a lot of effort in to making Sage Summit 2012 a success. I don’t think any more needs to be said about what many are calling despicable actions except to leave off with this:
“We are our choices.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre
[UPDATE: I have had some individuals approach me via forums and privately and ask me what the beef is here and what is unethical about this behavior. Some feel that all is fair in love and war (and business).
I agree but I also feel - as the final quote sums up nicely - we are defined by our choices and actions. I think this is a question for each of us to decide individually: how do you want to be defined?]